Preview: Getting the Westfield W-League underway in Melbourne

With the Round 1 bye firmly in the rear-view mirror, the Jets are now itching to get their Westfield W-League 2018/19 campaign underway against Melbourne Victory.

It’s the first time the Jets have ever played a Thursday night fixture, and it’ll be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports.

CAPTAINS: The Westfield W-League leadership group locked in

The extra week off  allowed Craig Deans to finalise his roster for the upcoming season, with Teigan Collister and Libby Copus-Brown amongst the new faces recently announced.

The women will come into this clash fresh, with a number of intra-club trial matches and the clash with a Mid North Coast Select side under their belts.

Libby Copus-Brown
Libby Copus-Brown is back in Jets colours.

Victory did get their campaign underway in Round 1, but played out a scoreless draw with Adelaide United.

They spent plenty of time in front of goal though – with 21 shots and 61% of possession – it was a match in which Melina Ayres and Emily Gielnik performed well for Victory.

Team news

There are no major injury concerns for Craig Deans, who this weekend has a full contingent to pick from.

Debuts could be in the offing for a number of new Jets signings, with international representatives Taylor Smith and Larissa Crummer in line for starts on Thursday night.

Former Jets midfielder, Libby Copus-Brown is back at the Club and could push for a place in the squad, while Teigan Collister and Renee Pountney may also provide Deans with options from the bench.

American stars Katie Stengel and Britt Eckerstrom have returned, and look likely to be in the starting XI at their respective ends of the pitch.

Katie Stengel

From the coach

"We're really excited to get the season underway, it feels like it's been a long pre-season with the first-round bye but it's been beneficial for us allowing being able to get a few matches under our belts – something we haven't had in the past," Assistant Coach, Ash Wilson said.

"We've had a couple of new faces in the squad, so to have the opportunity to work on some of those combinations and look at what's going to work for us ahead of the season has been really important.

"I think everyone has a really good mentality when it comes to their preparation, and now we've come off the back of a really good season and it's about trying to maintain and improve that. The expectations of the girls is higher once again – as we aim to improve again this year – but it really hasn't changed the values we hold and the standards we set as a group.

"We've got a full squad to select from, and we're still looking at our options in the midfield and up front – Tara [Andrews] is very versatile and has great vision but we'll wait until tomorrow to finalise our lineup.

"We've had to look at Taylor [Smith] and what role she can play, which gives us some options to replace Hannah [Brewer] – she's tough to replace both on the pitch and around the team but we're looking forward to having her back in Round 3."

The Jets will get their Westfield W-League campaign underway in Round 2 away to Melbourne Victory, on Thursday 1 November at Lakeside Stadium. Kick is at 7:30pm (AEDT), with the match broadcast live on Fox Sports and streamed on the MyFootball Live App